Post List

  • June 15, 2010
  • 08:27 PM

Repost: Mosasaurs - The Marine Monsters of New Jersey

by Laelaps in Laelaps

The skull of Mosasaurus hoffmani. From Lingham-Soliar 1995.

On my first trip to the Inversand marl pit in Sewell, New Jersey, I didn't find the wonderfully preserved Dryptosaurus skeleton I had been dreaming of. I picked up a number of Cretaceous bivalve shells and Paleocene sponges, but other than a few scraps of "Chunkosaurus" my excavations didn't yield very much. Before my paleontology class left the site, though, we took a walk by the spoil piles - great green mounds of sediment that ha........ Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 07:46 PM

Facilitated Communication: A Review of the Literature (with a new introduction)

by KWombles in Countering...

Three months ago, I ran the post that appears below. This post got lots of comments, and there were a fair number of misunderstandings, so let me up-front here make clear what I mean by facilitated communication in the hopes these misunderstandings do not occur again. We teach our children many skills by using hand-over-hand techniques. I'm not talking about teaching your child how to type, how to hold a pencil, how to do things. I'm talking specifically about the facilitated communication as Bi........ Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 06:50 PM

Will Climate Change Alter Sea Turtle Populations to the Point of Extinction?

by Scott A. in Thriving Oceans

Our planet is an intriguing concoction of variables that meld together for successes spanning the organization of life (species, populations, communities, and ecosystems).  It is literally an evolutionary process that is ecologically driven.  And as a genotypic sex determined species, we seem to have an inherent fascination with the mysterious adaptive significance of environmental sex [...]... Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 04:48 PM

A little incentive goes a long way when it comes to vaccine uptake

by geekheartsscience in geek!

Offering people free lentils and metal food dishes substantially improves the number of young children that receive a full course of childhood immunisations in resource poor areas, and is more cost effective than just improving the vaccine services available in the region, according to a new study published free in the British Medical Journal. Abhijit [...]... Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 04:29 PM

A hobbit's contemporaries: Biogeography and insular evolution on Flores

by Jeremy in Voltage Gate

Painters create networks. The subject of the piece, even if it’s a simple splotch of color, garners the most attention, but without a descriptive background or other kinds of supporting elements to contextualize the portion of the painting where the artist wants you to look, the intended focus is...

... Read more »

Meijer, H., Van Den Hoek Ostende, L., Van Den Bergh, G., & De Vos, J. (2010) The fellowship of the hobbit: the fauna surrounding Homo floresiensis. Journal of Biogeography, 37(6), 995-1006. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02308.x  

  • June 15, 2010
  • 04:06 PM

Secondary changes allow spread of oseltamivir resistant influenza virus

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

The influenza virus neuraminidase (NA) protein is required for virus release from the cell, a property exploited by the antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamavir (Relenza). During clinical testing of oseltamivir in 2001, some individuals shed drug-resistant viruses with an amino acid change from histidine to tyrosine (H274Y) in NA. Such viruses are not inhibited [...]... Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

Tuesday Crustie: Mandibles

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

I saw this and could think of nothing but the alien from the movie Predator.

This is a frontal view of the head of a male Branchinecta brushi. This species of fairy shrimp is interesting in several ways. First, it is a species new to science, having just been described in a paper last week.

Second, this is one of the two highest crustacean species on the planet. There is one other crustacean found in the same pools that B. brushi is found in.

I also have to give this paper credit for the bes........ Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 11:34 AM

Anthropology, Primatology, and the Definition of Culture: Reply to Sperber

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

Chimpanzees have culture (or not) depending on your definition.Image: Irish Wildcat / Creative Commons

Author's Note: The following is an expansion on my reply to anthropologist Dan Sperber on the PLoS ONE article "Prestige Affects Cultural Learning in Chimpanzees."

Culture is like art or pornography, it's hard for people to define but everyone knows it when they see it. Cultural anthropologists have long struggled to develop a consistent definition of the very thing that they study, a proble........ Read more »

Horner, V., Proctor, D., Bonnie, K., Whiten, A., & de Waal, F. (2010) Prestige Affects Cultural Learning in Chimpanzees. PLoS ONE, 5(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010625  

  • June 15, 2010
  • 11:26 AM

The most inconvenient seal

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

How the hell did seals get into Lake Baikal? Actually, if you're a long-time reader you'll know the answers that have been put forward (note there that I didn't say "you'll know the answer"), as I covered this issue back in 2006 on Tet Zoo ver 1. In the interests of recycling old stuff and saving myself valuable time and effort, here's that article again...

Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 09:23 AM

Oh Crap. More Autism Genes.

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

There's been much excitement about the latest big genetic study into autism, published in Nature : the grandly titled Autism Genome Project, brought to you by a crack team of no fewer than 177 researchers.For a good summary of the research take a look here, and for a longer account here. In a nutshell, the authors examined DNA from almost 1000 people with an autism spectrum disorder. They were looking for deletions and duplications of segments of DNA: so-called copy number variations (CNVs). A C........ Read more »

Pinto, D., Pagnamenta, A., Klei, L., Anney, R., Merico, D., Regan, R., Conroy, J., Magalhaes, T., Correia, C., Abrahams, B.... (2010) Functional impact of global rare copy number variation in autism spectrum disorders. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature09146  

  • June 15, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Do protected areas increase development of adjacent lands?

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Fenugreek Improves Glucose Metabolism Via Fat Cell Effect?

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), referred to in Hindi as Methi, is a common ingredient in South Asian cuisine. Its seeds are an essential component of curry powder - its leaves are eaten as a vegetable.
Traditional Indian medicine has long attributed medicinal properties to fenugreek, especially for the treatment of diabetes.
Now, Taku Uemura and colleagues from Kyoto [...]... Read more »

  • June 15, 2010
  • 05:25 AM

Model-Based User Interfaces and the Web

by Simon Harper in Thinking Out Loud

This maybe just what we need to start moving deep cognitive understandings of the Web Ergonomics of users into a form that can help us simulate and apply this knowledge to instances of Web Interactivity, sort of a CogTool on steroids.... Read more »

Dominik Heckmann, & Antonio Krueger. (2003) A User Modeling Markup Language (UserML) for Ubiquitous Computing . LNCS User Modeling 2003, 1(1), 148. info:/10.1007/3-540-44963-9_55

Dominik Heckmann, Tim Schwartz, Boris Brandherm, Michael Schmitz, & Margeritta von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff. (2005) Gumo – The General User Model Ontology . User Modeling 2005, 1(1), 428-432. info:/10.1007/11527886_58

  • June 15, 2010
  • 04:09 AM

The “Hockey Stick” evolution

by Andy Russell in Our Clouded Hills

This is a post that aims to go through the evolution of the “Hockey Stick” from 1990 to the present day.  It naturally misses out parts of the story, which deserve far more analysis, simply to keep the post short.  Comments that expand on the bits I’ve omitted are welcome! What is the “Hockey Stick” [...]... Read more »

Mann ME, Zhang Z, Hughes MK, Bradley RS, Miller SK, Rutherford S, & Ni F. (2008) Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(36), 13252-7. PMID: 18765811  

  • June 15, 2010
  • 12:26 AM

Distorted internal body maps, anyone?

by aimee in misc.ience

Our brains’ internal representations of ourselves are not, it would appear, quite as accurate as one would have thought.

That, at least, is the conclusion of paper which just came out in the dangerously-acronymed PNAS*.
To introduce the subject, then, let’s agree that it’s important for the brain to know where all our various physical bits are.  [...]

[Click on the hyperlinked headline for more of the goodness]... Read more »

Matthew R. Longo and Patrick Haggard. (2010) An implicit body representation underlying human position sense. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1003483107

  • June 14, 2010
  • 10:18 PM

Binge Eating Risk Related to BDNF Gene Polymorphism

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Extreme dieting and fasting can increase the risk for binge eating. For some individuals, binge eating seems to be a compensatory mechanism for weight restoration. The variability in binge eating behaviors following food restriction has been unknown. Now, a study suggests brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) may play a role in binge eating.Akkermann and colleagues from Estonia examined the relationship between BNDF polymorphism status and binge eating behavior. BNDF. BDNF gene alleles a........ Read more »

  • June 14, 2010
  • 08:23 PM

What are Parents Really Juggling?

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

Parents experience wide variety of emotions ranging from love and happiness to anger and frustration. Learn 3 practical implications to help you balance the extreme emotions of parenting. ... Read more »

  • June 14, 2010
  • 08:22 PM

So if Facilitated Communication has been shown to be Pseudoscience, What's a Parent to Do with a Nonverbal Child?

by KWombles in Countering...

Repost from March 26, 2010.I recently wrote a research-based blog on facilitated communication. It was a rather long article, I'll admit, but I thought it important to provide as much information about facilitated communication and what the overwhelming majority of studies and meta-analyses showed regarding it. It has, despite its popularity in some sectors of the autism community and its fervent supporters, been shown that the communication comes not from the individual who is nonverbal but fro........ Read more »

  • June 14, 2010
  • 07:22 PM

Restoring Missing Lynx - The Rejuvenation of an Ecosystem

by Laelaps in Laelaps

A drop in the bucket - a massive pile of bison skulls about to be ground into fertilizer, photographed circa 1870. From Wikipedia.

From almost the very start, wolves were not welcome in Yellowstone. When the national park was established by the United States government in 1872 the bison population had crashed - a victim of westward expansion, the fur trade, and the desire to deprive native people of an animal important to their existence - leaving the area's wolves little recourse but to beg........ Read more »

  • June 14, 2010
  • 05:33 PM

Plumbing the depth of quackery at HuffPo

by PalMD in White Coat Underground

One of the questions addressed in this space is, "what makes a particular condition susceptible to quackery?"  Some of the common features we've seen over time are: Diverse and protean symptoms: fatigue, "brain fog", diffuse pain, and other vague symptoms are often used as diagnostic criteria for controversial entities such as morgellons and chronic Lyme disease. Lack of diagnostic certainty: there are no definitive tests to make the diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease or morgellons ........ Read more »

Jusko, T., Henderson, C., Lanphear, B., Cory-Slechta, D., Parsons, P., & Canfield, R. (2007) Blood Lead Concentrations . Environmental Health Perspectives, 116(2), 243-248. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.10424  

Lanphear BP, Hornung R, Khoury J, Yolton K, Baghurst P, Bellinger DC, Canfield RL, Dietrich KN, Bornschein R, Greene T.... (2005) Low-level environmental lead exposure and children's intellectual function: an international pooled analysis. Environmental health perspectives, 113(7), 894-9. PMID: 16002379  

Shih, R., Glass, T., Bandeen-Roche, K., Carlson, M., Bolla, K., Todd, A., & Schwartz, B. (2006) Environmental lead exposure and cognitive function in community-dwelling older adults. Neurology, 67(9), 1556-1562. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000239836.26142.c5  

Liu X, Dietrich KN, Radcliffe J, Ragan NB, Rhoads GG, & Rogan WJ. (2002) Do children with falling blood lead levels have improved cognition?. Pediatrics, 110(4), 787-91. PMID: 12359796  

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